Among the more than 30,000 runners expected at the Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 22 will be 64 police officers running the course for security purposes, according to Reuters.
The officers will not run the full 26.2 miles but rather be strategically placed along the course, to complement the thousands of officers stationed along the route. The 64 officers will have special bibs and will also be equipped with small cameras transmitting images in real time to police headquarters.
The initiative is in response to both the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the recent attack on Japanese hostages by ISIS, sparking fears in Japan.
“If police are there among the runners they may be able to see things more quickly, and runners will be able to take part in the race with a feeling of security,” a police spokesperson told Reuters.
The spokesperson added that while all police officers are in good physical shape, the 64 running the course will be “people who run quite a lot.”
In addition to the Tokyo Marathon, a World Marathon Major, Japan’s largest city has another huge sporting event on the horizon—it will host the 2020 Olympics.